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Although this may not be the tightest show, it is rightly famous in terms of the sheer amount and quality of musical exploration.
Mind Wondrin -
Subject: Phil's fave
An historical show for these reasons:
+Played adjacent to a lodge in the timber, at an obscure location, with no PA, for a few dozen people
+In the Midnight Hour (on Fallout from the Phil Zone) finished the show with a 31-minute jam, the longest known version
+Viola is a killer 23-minute version - and that's just the part that survives! (it's a bonus track on newer versions of The Grateful Dead album)
+Alligator is in an early version; after this it always went into Caution, which is instead experimented with during Viola
+Even the band (mostly Phil) fondly remembered the gig decades later, though they likely learned not to travel as far to such a small booking
+Robert Hunter wrote Dark Star at this gig
A track or two circulated (for many of us, the first long '67 jams in our collection) but others said these were mislabeled. The entirety we have now finally circulated in 2000. What was story on that? Somebody sitting on a big reel? Vault leak? No perfect sources exist but the show has some good moments inside the typical '67 formative sound, chiefly Midnight Hour (their dance number, it gets warped by Jer after 13 minutes and after 20 minutes gets pwned by Pigpen) and Viola Lee. The band sounds relaxed; earnest to play. Makes you wonder about all that's missing from that year (5/20, 7/14, 9/22), You'd have to trudge through the small repertoire, and the band repeated a lot of riffs still, but tangents are many. The band is such a different animal in '67. You can hear the youth, the acid, the frontiers, the primacy in a group still mostly unknown outside of the Bay area.
Overall: B/B- (above average for '67)
I can see why some like this set but I prefer 18Mar67 and RT2-2. If you're one of the rare '67 heads, you'll like the whole show. Others will just need the wild, raw Viola - parts of it are sort of standard and then a section will come along that's pretty amazing. It's the Viola that sets it a notch above other '67 sets; the length of Dancin' doesn't really add quality as much as historical interest.
Sources: oconnel-clevenger is best (of the archive selections). Sound is good for '67 (even though Alligator eventally has lots of phasing-flutter on all sources)
Subject: Truly an Archive
There are cuts and they are, of course unfortunate, but consider the date friend, and be Grateful for what remains.
Do you enjoy a good Viola Lee? Then check it out. C,R & S sounds like a practice and Schoolgirl is like testing new water and seeing who will lead...remember though that the organ is P.P.
It's a raw, exploratory Dead, and great for what it is. Remember being blown away for the first time? Was it 9/3/67?